Sunday is quiet, sharp and bright. Eleven o’clock feels early still, with few people out and little traffic, clear sunshine and an outbreak of Spring colours in flowers, café tablecloths and shop windows.
In Chinatown the reddest of dragons and the orangest of oranges adorn the pavements. Somewhere between red and orange, the chili sauce on the white dim-sum dumplings I share with two old friends and colleagues. One is here for a few precious hours between planes, and we’ve come to her favourite place from London days.
We eat and talk. I’ve known these women so long, know the shapes their lips and hands will take on next. We’re older, softer at the edges and more solid at the centre, than when we used to race busily around the world together. Older, today, feels a good place to be. I’m happy – I think we all are – as we sit at this window table on this brightly coloured morning, with easy laughter exchanging our present lives, our hearts drawn backwards down a long corridor of memories.